Tag Archives parliament

RESIGN!

Parliament didn’t disappoint yesterday by providing credence to the date. They proved without a shadow of the doubt that they are fools who are resolutely dragging the country to the dogs. Without any hint of resolution so far, 40 grown adults who simply cannot work together and whose over-riding reason seems to be to posture, scream, shout and have tantrums and that their individual opinions supersedes all others.

Yes, we do have a problem with the Constitution and with the Parliamentary By-laws. Yes, it is quite evident that the overarching reason for their existence seems to be to propagate sectarianism or at least that facet is at the forefront of their minds in every single action that they do; privately and publicly, which exacerbated the impasse Parliament finds itself at.

They just will not and cannot work together.

I do not believe that the people who have been elected are doing their job. It is somewhat within their power to get things rolling and fix what could be fixed; alas, their idiotic posturing is taking precedence.

Therefore, there is really no need to waste more time to get these morons off their cushy seats and thrown out in the street where they belong; hence, as a Bahraini citizen fully within my rights, I hereby give them the Red Card and invite every single one of you to do the same:

Mahmood Red Carding the Parliament and telling them to resign.

YALLA! GET OUT OF MY PARLIAMENT!

Morons.

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MtvSM time

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It’s that time again.. I’m in the airport awaiting my flight to Jordan and it suddenly hit me that I didn’t announce the traditional Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the Moment! Silly me.

Alrighty then… I don’t think there is anything nor anyone more deserving of very valid blame other than…

The Parliament!

If I were to be generous, I would happily share the MtvSM privilege with the CIO or eGov or whatever you want to call those brainiacs who think that being transparent means embarrassing a whole swathe of our countrymen by publishing their names without consent and displaying them as paupers awaiting a measly handout of BD50, rather than deserving human beings who should very well share the wealth of their country. But I’m not in a very generous mood at the moment.

Therefore, please do blame all the ills of the world generally, and ours specifically on this joke of a parliament. One that is diligently trying to reduce its efficacy even more than what it is at the moment and one that is thinking in nothing more than a narrow and short-sighted sectarian way to further encumber itself – and by inference our whole country and society – with restrictions and completely voiding itself from the limited responsibility they have been given.

All this without paying heed to what is happening in the world around us. Even Nepal and Bhutan will deservedly pass us by as they develop their democratic, social and economic systems and we’re still in this sectarian and tribal mentality, thanks to this parliament, its bylaws and our constitution.

Someone should look into the Bhutan situation; a country that measures itself not by Gross National Product, but by a hippy-like Gross National Happiness. Even with that, their far-sighted king imposes democracy by changing his country from an absolute monarchy through to a constitutional one.

Enough rants for now, they are about to call me to the plane… in any case, you have the MtvSM has been announced and I invite you – my friends – to go ahead and give them several pieces of your minds.

Au revoir

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Will it explode?

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If you’re in Bahrain, you must have felt the tension over the past few months. This tension could in large part be attributed to the Bandargate scandal in which some members of the government and royal family have been implicated in disseminating sectarian strife; a conspiracy which has kept the Bahraini political and apolitical scenes alight.

That powder keg is very close to explosion.

Over the last 3 weeks, parliament, at least the House of Representatives part in it, could not be convened due to vociferous demands by Al-Wefaq (+1) to question the main minister involved in Bandargate on financial irregularities which might be enough to impeach him. The other side of the House adamantly refused to let that intrinsic legislative tool be used claiming that the questioning is unconstitutional and using every single trick they can get hold of to hinder it. So much so that the House’s main legal council quit rather suddenly and flew back to his native Egypt – some say due to him being pressured and cajoled to change his position of which he maintained the constitutionality of the motion.

The “loyalists” as they have become known – wrongly in my view – ditched the main legal council’s advice, ridden roughshod on the second council who agreed with the first, and took the advice of the most junior of councils who seems to have given them what they want.

Al-Wefaq and Aziz Abul continue to hold onto the constitutionality of their demand and did not budge from their position. They want to question Ahmed Attiyatallah and have threatened to continue to disrupt the House’s proceedings until they get their demand. According to the Constitution and the Bylaws, they are well within their right to question said minister.

If you have been following the snippets of news over the past few days, there has been several shuttle meetings between Al-Wefaq and the higher powers in society; Al-Wefaq even met first with the prime minister and then the king to share their views with them. Both, apparently, did not want to interfere in the legislative process but gave their overt blessings that any minister – even if from within the royal family – is not above questioning.

Al-Dhahrani, the speaker of the house, still insists on the unconstitutionality of the motion and wants the house to vote on it. A process that Al-Wefaq is completely against due to it being against the House’s bylaws first, and second, because they can never win that vote given that the current make-up of the House is 22 against and 18 for. You will be interested to know that Al-Wefaq is represented by 18 votes in the House, even though they have gained 63% of the actual vote! But that’s another story.

Tomorrow promises to be stellar. Will parliament be dissolved because the intransigence of the proponents and the opponents of the motion, or will it continue to be disrupted without a solution in the offing?

I personally do not believe that it will be dissolved. A magic solution – as is typical in this country – will appear at the last minute and will save the moment. The stakes are far too high for this “democratic experiment” to fail now.

My mind is still boggled as to why the parliament itself is against using a very important tool like questioning a minister. Other than them being interfered with and pushed into their respective positions, I really have no explanation to this laughable situation.

Well, tomorrow is another day. The sun will continue to shine and business will continue to be done and migrant workers will continue to strike and buildings will continue to be built in spite of everything. The “boom” that we are experiencing; however, might well have a different sound to it come tomorrow.

We shall wait and see.

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Countdown

countdown.gifThe observant amongst you might have noticed the re-appearance of the countdown clock panel on the right. I thought of putting it up as a reminder that their days are numbered, so if they want to make a difference and etch their name in history for doing good to get with the program and leave those shenanigans for their own time and leave it to those who might be impressed.

We’re not.

Parliament is put in place to guarantee more freedoms and for the protection of a better way of life, not to hinder and further curtail limited rights.

But do you notice that any time something important is at the doorstep they descend into a quagmire? It’s as if someone is using the MPs inexperience effectively; all they need do is throw a bone and watch the show… while the things that do matter go on unnoticed right in front of their noses!

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Change at the GDN?

You know how much I love the GDN, right? And hold it at the highest regards? Yes, I’m being sarcastic here, but even with that, I am really surprised by a few changes in their reportage I have witnessed over the last few weeks; one might even use the adjective “daring” to describe some of the things they printed.

Take today for instance, right there on the front page they trespass on the law and actually use that dreaded word “bandargate“!! It possibly is the only national paper which have had the balls (recently) to print it. I wonder if they now will be penalised and shut down for a while for their temerity!

Have a look yourselves:

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So the question is, where did the balls come from, or is the guy who usually applies the brakes on holiday?

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Parliament suspends its authority

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For the third week running, parliament abrogates its basic responsibility to oversee the operation of the executive branch by completely negating both the Constitution and Parliamentary Bylines. [audio clip]

I feel that this “experiment” might have reached an impasse now. I don’t foresee an effective way forward other than going back to the drawing board and adopting a new constitution which respects the foundations of human rights and dignity. What we are witnessing now is nothing more than a direct result of the inequities visited upon us by the contentious 2002 constitution and the behind the scene machinations which are further strengthened by the absence of real political will to seek a solution.

If these basic things are not resolved, and resolved quickly, the apparent milk and honey which a few are enjoying will disappear faster than the trust people have put in this new new era.

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Damn, missed it!

Whenever I’m away, the first thing I do when I wake up is check the news back home. It continuously brings me back to our own version of surreal reality.

Yesterday’s news hit the mark quite squarely, thank you very much; our illustrious parliament dropped the second impeachment proceedings [translate] against a sitting minister. Of course, as expected, the “opposition” within parliament preached fire and brimstone and demonstrated their objection by occupying the parliament’s chamber while it was in recess. That is, they had a nice “sit in”.

That will teach ’em.

Contrast that with a mingling session we were invited to last night on Capitol Hill. I had a chat with several staffers who work on several committee in the House, a few of those in the Oversight Committee. My questions to them on how they go along their business must have appeared quite childish, I suppose, because of the look on some of their faces: “Your chairman can subpoena anyone he likes and no one can interfere? No way!” and “So who’s watching the watchers in your case then” and more of that sort of stream. Well, the answers were quite mundane to them. In the first instance it’s a resounding yes, while in the second was “the Press of course.”

Going back to our own situation, the metrics are a little different. The answers to the same question, should I ever have the misfortune in mingling with our own parallels, would most probably have been “only when we think that the king would allow it” to the first, while the second would resoundingly be “the government, of course!” Silly me.

Well, I shan’t lose sleep over this latest episode. It’s just not worth it as they will never change. They are peons put in place to continue the charade of pseudo-democracy in order to score points with the outside world. “Of course we have an elected parliament!” and those from the outside naively believe the good stuff and give us the requisite pat on the back and we continue to blunder toward an uncertain future.

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Bahraini Parliament frees Palestine!

Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa - Bahrain’s Foreign MinisterI couldn’t believe the stuff carried in the papers this morning about the palava in parliament yesterday. MPs are “absolutely” incensed that our foreign minister shook hands with the Israeli foreign minister on the sidelines of a meeting at the UN. That minister being female and and Israeli is a double whamy for them. I guess the Muslim Brotherhood MPs could possibly forgive him for shaking hands with an Israeli, but an Israeli woman is a no no.

One chooses to label other human beings as low as dogs while the other calls parliamentarians as hypocritical killers

Anyway, the foreign minister was upfront about it and explained the country’s position when the story broke and the newspapers had their pound of flesh. Now it’s the MP’s turn to have theirs. Who’s been trusted with this task; however? Well it’s the plagiarist of course! He’s heading the “Boycott Israel” camp in parliament and wants his few minutes in the limelight. Well he’s got it with a bang. But he obviously didn’t bank on being mauled by the minister in the process… so from “demanding” that the minister washes his hands 7 times, one of which with sand – a reference to cleansing oneself from touching the muzzle of a dog, an unclean part according to Islam, and a reference to Jews being unclean as far as he’s concerned, he’s now saying that he just suggested it so that Shaikh Khalid purifies himself after touching the “dirty” (Jewess) Livni.

Brilliant isn’t it? We should set up a stall at the entrance of the parliament chambers and sell palm-sized rocks or at least some pebbles to increase the fun. This is Politics 101 Bahraini style!

he just suggested it so that Shaikh Khalid purifies himself after touching the “dirty” (Jewess) Livni.

One chooses to label other human beings as low as dogs and as unclean as his persuasion makes him believe, while the other calls parliamentarians as hypocritical killers – in reference probably to Hamas too being of the Muslim Brotherhood persuasion and that they are terrorists I presume; hence his outburst of “the blood of Palestinians are on your hands” – but the jury’s still out until he explains the comments thrown.

The end result? Well, Palestine is still occupied, Israel continues to exist while some Bahrainis still sleep with hunger pangs, live in houses some of which have been categorised as condemned, thousands are still without jobs, various reforms are stagnant, and freedom robbing laws are still in existence and parliament ignores all of that and passes a resolution to sever all links with the Jewish Enemy.

Here I am thinking that one has to keep lines of communications open with even an enemy in order to reach an amicable solution.

The end result? Well, Palestine is still occupied, Israel continues to exist while some Bahrainis still sleep with hunger pangs

Keeping that in mind, I honestly do not see the problem in our foreign minister meeting with the Israelis at an international location on the sidelines of an international conference especially as the meeting was not solely bilateral but included 8 other Arab countries. I could even excuse him for meeting “the enemy” in bilateral talks if the result of that meeting was some good coming to Palestine and Bahrain, especially when the Palestinian leadership themselves know about this meeting and have condoned it.

Demanding – as the parliament has done by passing a resolution to the effect – never to have any contact in whatsoever form with Israel is nonsensical and impractical. This is politics after all and a country must look after its own interests first and foremost and use its influence to bring points of view closer, even between enemies.

It’s a very emotive issue. Of course it is. But parliament and senior politicians should never allow themselves to be dragged into situations like this. This shakes the country’s confidence in the organisations they represent even more than the level they enjoy at the moment. At the very best, this outburst from both sides will busy the whole country for days on end needlessly and shove the important issues they should be discussing to the back of the queue, once again.

This is a government and a parliament with grasshopper attention span. Let’s see what the following few days will hold for us. Big smiles and hugs probably while the cauldron of emotions continue to bubble and each waiting for the other to slip.

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